AOSIS Statement at the High-Level Event on Global Climate Action

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  • Climate
  • HE Milagros De Camps

Excellencies and Colleagues, I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). I know that we often open with that line, but I want for a moment to explain why the High-Level Champions and the Marrakesh Partnership is critical to my group of countries. While we know that the effects of this climate crisis will impact all states, the early effects are being felt most acutely in the small islands. We are already seeing sustained and substantial impacts on our economies, livelihoods and societies. 1.5 degrees is not just a target, but a necessary precondition to our continued existence.

But the recent NDC synthesis report was clear that the current level of ambition in the NDCs is neither sufficient to meet the net-zero pledges, nor to get on a 1.5 degree pathway. Quite simply, we are not doing enough and not doing enough in the near term. For small islands, near-term action is critical, greater action by states and non-state actors alike is critical, and so the work of the Marrakesh Partnership is critical.

This alignment between the needs of small islands and the work of the Marrakesh Partnership is not an accident. AOSIS was the earliest, and potentially strongest, supporter of what would become the Marrakesh Partnership. Many elements, including the Champions themselves, were first conceived in AOSIS submissions. This is not to take credit for the MP, but rather to make this point: AOSIS spent years thinking and working to establish this stream of work. But, even in our wildest dreams, our final outcome was never as robust, comprehensive or effective as the Marrakesh Partnership is today.

The work of the Champions over the past 3 years has been without end and we would hope that parties reflect our thanks in the COP decisions. The 5-year vision on Improving the Marrakesh Partnership released by the Champions earlier this month is an excellent response to the extended mandate given to them at COP25. In particular, we would like to highlight three things:

First, regionalizing the MP is critical. We need increased engagement of the global south, both state and non-state actors, in the work of the MP. Regionalization will enhance engagement and effectiveness. It should result in new multistakeholder alliances that spur global and regional transitions in sectors like tourism and expanding technologies like green hydrogen.

Second, the increased focus on adaptation, including the Race to Resilience, is also welcomed. For many small islands, our potential for mitigation is limited, but our need for adaptation is very large. Increasing the engagement of non-state actors in adaptation work can only help us in becoming more resilient.

Third, we appreciate how the work of the MP has begun to align with the ambition cycle in the Paris Agreement. We have long thought that increased action by non-state actors and increased information on mitigation and adaptation potentials can lead to greater ambition from states.

Finally, on behalf of the 39 states of AOSIS, we would like to thank our two High Level Champions, Gonzalo and Nigel, for their work and enthusiasm. You have injected new life into the Marrakesh Partnership. We hope and expect that this renewed Marrakesh Partnership will help us get on a pathway to 1.5 degrees.

We thank you.